The Car

This car has been sold!

The car's been sold, but if you're curious about how I did it, here's some information.

I used EBAY MOTORS. You've probably heard of it -- it's basically eBay for cars. I was pretty amazed at how many people actually visit this site and browse cars there. My car alone got well over 1,000 hits. Basic services are around $40 for listing and there are extras you can buy to enhance your ad. All told, I spent about $111 to sell it.

The number one reason to use an auction site like eBay Motors to sell a car is the ease and speed it offers. You can sell your car in a week or less on eBay. On other sites or in traditional print media it may take you quite a bit longer. At the end of the day, you will trade a few hundred dollars of your car's value for what eBay Motors has to offer, which is: a highly popular showcase for your car (meaning you're almost guaranteed to sell it); a very short sales cycle; low overhead costs to post your ad; and the drama of it all (if you're into that sort of thing). In fact, the extra money you could have gotten selling your car someplace else may very well get spent posting and paying for your ad in those other places.

There are two kinds of auctions on eBay Motors -- auctions with a reserve price, and auctions without one. A reserve is the minimum price at which you're willing to let the car go; if no bid meets your reserve price, the car does not sell. Believe it or not, auctions without a reserve actually do better than auctions with one. But if you absolutely must have peace of mind and set a minimum price at which you will sell your car, price the reserve well below Kelley Blue Book "private party" value. The market will almost always correct for the gap between what you set the reserve at, and what the market feels the car is actually worth. Be a real entrepreneur and trust the market, especially if your car has a lot of competition and/or demand. The more popular your model, the better the auction format works!

When selling on eBay Motors, keep in mind that most people are trying to find a "better" deal on the cars than what they'd get at a dealer. Price to sell; look at what other similar cars are going for and set your starting price (or reserve) well below. Some sellers choose to set extremely low initial prices, like $1.00. A low price attracts more attention, and thus more bidders. Don't worry, no one is going to win your car for $1.00! As I said above, the market will always correct price. Obviously, if you've got something with novelty, you may be able to name your own price. But that certainly wasn't the case for the very popular 2000-and-later model-year Eclipse. In the end, I got a price that was incredibly close to what I thought the car was worth.

Here's one more very important point: eBay will let you do your own web hosting and link to it, which is what I did in the original ad below. This can save you lots of money on picture fees, and (if you're willing to spend some time), let you design a truly nice ad for your vehicle.

If you want to see the original ad, click here. I've changed the ad from its original form in only three ways:

  • I've removed the contact phone number for privacy purposes;
  • I've removed the photograph of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to protect the privacy of the person who bought it;
  • I've added the copyright notice to the bottom
Check out eBay Motors here.

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